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From howler monkeys to fossil boas, from blue morpho butterflies to the top of the forest canopy, seven members of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and their spouses and guests just completed a fascinating week in the Republic of Panama. Hosted by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the group visited research laboratories in Panama City, rode to the top of the forest canopy to view sloths and learn about the encroachment of lianas (vines), and boated to Barro Colorado Island to climb through this nature preserve that has been studied for 100 years. A brief snorkel among the islands near the Bocas del Torro marine station revealed baby squid that could change color and sea cucumbers nestled in the coral reef. Director Nancy Gwinn and Deputy Director Mary Augusta Thomas made sure that Board members visited the STRI Library and talked with staff and researchers about the value of having library resources at hand, both the historical literature and the latest digitized journal article. Board members showed their appreciation by taking up a collection at the end of the journey to help the STRI Library purchases needed equipment and books.

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